More and more responsible dog owners are concerned about offering their pets a healthy, balanced, and natural diet, especially if its main food source is ultra-processed food (kibble, canned food, or sachets).
For this reason, there is the question of what are the most beneficial foods for your best friend, and especially if dogs can eat some common foods that we all have in the refrigerator constantly, like eggs!
So, in this case, we will answer all the doubts about eggs: Are eggs good for dogs? What benefits can eggs bring? Raw or cooked eggs? And many other questions.
ARE EGGS GOOD FOR DOGS?
The short answer is yes. The chicken egg is a complete food in itself and is the quintessential animal protein. It is a great food for any dog due to its high content of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
It is also a portion of good food for macronutrients and micronutrients, which makes it one of the most nutritious foods available.
It is low in calories, improves vision, is easily assimilated, increases muscle mass, and is also, useful for cell regeneration of tissues. For all this and more, eggs are an excellent option to add to your dog’s diet.
BENEFITS OF INCLUDING EGGS IN YOUR DOG’S DIET.
As mentioned above, the egg is a food that offers many benefits to dogs because it contains a high protein value, all the essential amino acids, minerals, and a wide variety of vitamins that dogs need.
It also has a high bioavailability, which means that a large percentage of its nutrients are absorbed by the body to then fulfill essential functions. The eggs contain:
High protein content: in their diet, dogs must have a high content of animal protein for their optimal health, and as we all know we will find mainly protein in the composition of chicken eggs.
Essential amino acids: along with these proteins, eggs also provide dogs with essential amino acids, that is, those that the dog’s body needs to obtain directly from food since it cannot synthesize them by itself.
Good fats: this food is undoubtedly rich in healthy fats. The fat of the yolks of the eggs is good and necessary, mainly because it favors the skin and the coat of the dogs, avoiding the fall of the hair and fomenting a shining appearance, as well as benefits other parts of its organism.
Vitamins and minerals: Its great variety of fat-soluble Vitamin A, D, E, and K contribute to the good condition of your dog’s nervous system, as well as minerals such as selenium, iron, and calcium.
In general, all dogs can include eggs in their diet, but this type of dog is the most benefited:
- Sporting or working dogs.
- Growing puppies (from 3 months).
- Older dogs without immune problems.
- Malnourished dogs that need to gain weight and strength.
- Pregnant dogs.
- Lactating dogs.
- Dogs fed with low quality food, poor in protein components.
SHOULD I GIVE MY DOG RAW EGGS OR COOKED EGGS?
The issue of whether you should give your dog raw or cooked eggs is a debate for some experts as it is a common topic.
Now that you know that dogs can eat eggs, it’s important to know how you can prepare them and what the most beneficial options you should consider.
Raw egg for dogs.
Many experts and dog owners, mainly those who follow the BARF diet (which is precisely a raw food diet), support the idea of offering raw eggs to dogs even with the ground shell.
This way the egg will not lose its properties, and the protein will not be altered nor its nutritional values reduced. In addition, dogs can digest raw eggs better than humans can.
Dog’s digestive system allows them to eat raw food because of the acids in their stomach and the bile that allows harmful batteries to pass through their digestive system without causing any problems.
To feed your dog a raw egg you will only need to break a fresh egg over its food. In case you have a small dog, a whole egg can be a lot, so keep in mind the quantities.
Do a test: Not all dogs are the same, to know if your dog digests the raw egg well when you feed it for the first time, make sure that later it doesn’t present any symptom such as vomit, stomach discomfort, gas, etc.
Cooked egg for dogs.
On the other hand, the cooked egg is easier to assimilate than a raw one. This is due to the fact that cooking makes food much easier to digest in many cases because heat breaks certain bonds that facilitate digestion.
Experts say that cooked egg is better than raw egg to avoid getting salmonella or a deficiency of biotin, which is a vitamin found in the yolk but is retained by avidin (a protein found in the egg’s white).
When the egg is raw, avidin is retained and not absorbed. By frying or boiling the egg, therefore, it is recommended to give the egg cooked.
Is it good to give your dog the eggshell?
Eggshells are loaded with minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which is why many dog owners choose to give their dogs eggshells as part of their diet.
However, just like the raw egg, with the eggshell, there is a risk of salmonella infection. Besides not being well crushed, it could hurt the dog and its digestive system.
Crush the eggshell.
If you choose to feed your dog with the eggshell, it is advisable to take the following steps:
- Always wash the eggshell to eliminate any rest of its content and avoid sources of bacterial proliferation.
- Grind the shell very well until it becomes a very fine powder.
- With that powder, you only have to sprinkle over its food ration. For example, you can mix the powder with yogurt, meat, a vegetable dish, a soup, etc.
To store this eggshell powder, it is best to put it in an airtight jar or container inside the refrigerator.
However, you should know that there are many other foods that can provide calcium to dogs, so giving your dog eggshell is a personal decision.
Quail or duck eggs
Dogs can eat other bird’s eggs. You can offer your dog eggs other than chicken eggs, such as duck and quail eggs, which are also nutritious.
Quail eggs: are smaller, have a high nutritional value, and are very enjoyable. You can offer these types of eggs to puppies and small dogs because in some cases it is not necessary to have a whole egg in each serving of food.
Duck eggs: are equally suitable and nutritious. They are slightly larger and have more flavor than chicken eggs. They are also rich in protein, vitamins, antioxidant properties, and minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, and potassium.
HOW TO COOK EGGS FOR DOGS
Cooked eggs are good for dogs as long as you don’t use harmful ingredients to cook them or give them flavor such as oils, butter, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, or any other condiment when preparing them.
Dogs should ingest the salt that can be naturally present in food, but the added salt ends up becoming an unhealthy excess that affects their stress and can lead them to dehydrate more easily.
HOW SHOULD I GIVE EGGS TO MY DOG?
Like any other food, you can give it to your dog as a main meal or snack, also mix it with its usual food.
In addition, always give the egg at a suitable temperature so that your dog does not burn itself or if the egg is cold (from the fridge) let it reach room temperature before giving them to a dog.
You can offer your dog cooked egg in different presentations such as: French omelette, scrambled egg, boiled egg, or even fried egg.
Although all these preparations are healthy, one of the best options is boiled egg, which is the healthiest and does not require additional non-stick ingredients (i.e. butter, oil, or salt).
The extra ingredients and additional seasonings to cook an egg are not necessary, dogs have a simple palate, you can be sure they will love and devour every bite of food without problems.
HOW MANY EGGS CAN A DOG EAT?
There is not one exact amount of eggs a dog can eat. Each case is different depending on its breed, age, size, and health.
A puppy, which can be given 1 – 2 eggs per week, with each egg being halved, is not the same as a large breed dog that can eat 4 or 5 eggs per week.
For a general diet, it would be advisable to offer your dog eggs 3 – 4 times a week in a safe manner with other types of foods that complement its diet.
In any case, it is also advisable to talk to your vet first, especially in cases of sick dogs, to clear up any doubts.
Can eggs cause cholesterol in your dog?
Dogs hardly suffer from cholesterol. This myth is created by people when they usually think that if it is bad for them it is bad for their animals.
In reality, pets like dogs and cats are carnivores and do not suffer from cholesterol like humans, even though they have diets high in animal fat. Their metabolism is designed to transform them into energy just like we do with carbohydrates.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
All meals are good but in moderation. Be careful to overfeed your dog with eggs, it could cause health problems such as salmonella disease, for example, and those mentioned below:
Obesity: take care of your dog’s weight, like any other food excess eggs in your dog’s diet could cause it obesity and lead to other medical complications if it eats too often, due to the fat contained.
To keep your dog healthy, you will have to watch how many eggs it eats per week and how many it really needs.
Allergies: Although it is rare, certain dogs can have allergies to eggs, in reality, these types of allergies are mostly to proteins. It can even take years before you diagnose a food allergy in your dog if there is no good diagnostic work.
If your dog shows symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itchy nose and paws, lethargy, hives, and difficulty breathing, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Stomach discomfort: some dogs develop an upset stomach when they have changes in their diet. This is normal. If your dog has watery, liquid stools that last more than a day or vomit persists for more than 24 hours, consult a veterinarian.
Immunosuppressed dog: It is not advisable to add raw eggs to a dog’s diet if the dog is immunosuppressed due to illness or old age. It is better in this type of case to feed it with a boiled egg.
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If it is the first time you are going to give your puppy this food, remember to do it in small portions, this way you will be able to identify a possible food allergy or any adverse effect on its digestive system.
It is important to provide our dogs with a diet based on high-quality proteins and fats; however, their feeding should be treated in moderation, not based solely on egg consumption.
Even so, with respect to incorporating the egg into your dog’s diet, you can rest assured that the general benefits it provides certainly outweigh the risks.
Remember that you can always consult your vet about the amount and the way to prepare the egg according to your dog’s physical characteristics and the diet that is more beneficial for it.
In conclusion, the egg is one of the best supplements we can offer our best friend, since it is a food with so many nutritional benefits, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, cheap and easy to acquire and prepare, it is convenient in the nutrition of your furry friend!